Oslo Bislett Games, June 16, 2022, photo by Stuart Weir
The Oslo Bislett Games are one of the most iconic annual meetings in all of track & field. The event is held in the Oslo, Norway, in the Bislett Stadium, a stadium that has seen the likes of Paavo Nurmi, Willie Ritola, Steve Cram, Seb Coe, and Grete Waitz, among others, compete over the last 100 years.
Stuart Weir is there, and his love of this event is evident. That he can brave the hot and cold today in Oslo, shows his dedication. Enjoy this piece.
Happy Birthday, Bislett!
The Bislett Stadium in Oslo is 100 years old. History is all around you. The list of winners of the Bislett medal for the outstanding performance of the Games is like a list of the great and the good of our sport: Mike Boit, Grete Waitz, Ralph Boston, Seb Coe, Mary Decker, Said Aouita, Heike Drechsler, Blanka Vlasic, Usain Bolt and Marlene Ottey to choose but ten.
The Dream Mile, going back to 1974, has its own history with winners such as Steve Cram (4 times), Hicham El Guerrouj (3), Asbel Kiprop (3), and Steve Scott (2), etc. Steve Cram, Seb Coe, and Steve Ovett have all broken the World Record in the race. Coe, in fact, set world records at 800, 1000 (twice), and the mile. Just as I wrote that sentence, Steve Cram walked past me on his way to the BBC commentary position. Seb Coe was interviewed on the infield about Jakob’s run. Ovett now lives in Australia.
Bislett 2022 was a sell-out with a two-hour DL program of six men’s races, 4 women’s, and two field events each. Unfortunately, the women’s shot, won by Chase Ealey with a PR of 20.23, was over before most of the spectators had arrived. The pre-program included two and a half hours of local and youth events plus an international 100m para sprint.
Despite the rain, it was a great evening’s entertainment with steller Scandinavian performances from Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Mondo Duplantis. There was a good number of Ethiopian flags waving when Telahun Haile Bekele won the men’s 5000 in an Ethiopian 1-2-3. The women’s 5000m was also an Ethiopian 1-2-3, with Dawit Seyaum winning.
Keely Hodgkinson won the women’s 800, followed by Laura Muir for a British 1-2.
Sandra Perkovic got the better of Valarie Allman in the women’s discus with a throw of 66.82.
Devon Allen won the 110m hurdles in 13.22 into a headwind from Asier Martinez. His task was perhaps made easier with Omar McLeod not starting. With Grant Holloway no longer invincible and Omar McLeod looking string, not forgetting Olympic champion Hansle Parchment, the event looks like one of the highlights at Oregon. Allen will be right there in the mix.
Sadly the children’s snowball throwing competition has been dropped from the program.